The New York Yankees’ division lead over the Baltimore Orioles is down to one game after a 4-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays in the opener of a 10-game road trip.
It was the ninth loss in the past 13 games for the Yankees (76-58), who had led the American League East Division by as many as 10 games. The Rays snapped a 3-3 tie yesterday as Chris Gimenez delivered a run-scoring single in the bottom of the eighth inning at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida.
“It’s not a good feeling,” said Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano, who may miss today’s game against Tampa Bay after feeling pain in his hip while trying to glove Gimenez’s ground ball through the right side of the infield. “You don’t want to put your head down. We’ve just got to turn the page.”
The Orioles (75-59) beat the Toronto Blue Jays 4-0 yesterday for their 11th win in the past 15 games. Joe Saunders took a perfect game into the sixth inning in his second start since being acquired from the Arizona Diamondbacks.
“When I got traded over here, they had a great thing going and you just want to come over here and contribute as much you can,” Saunders told reporters. “You don’t want to mess it up. You want to keep the team in the ballgame, give the team a chance to win and that’s what I was able to do.”
Tampa Bay (74-61) is now 2 1/2 games behind the Yankees with one month left in the Major League Baseball regular season.
The Yankees and starting pitcher CC Sabathia fell behind 2- 0 after three innings as Gimenez had a run-scoring single and B.J. Upton hit a solo home run. After New York took a 3-2 lead with a three-run fourth inning, the Rays pushed across a run in the fifth to tie it and won it in the eighth against Yankees reliever David Robertson.
The Yankees put the tying run on third base with two outs in the top of the ninth inning before the Rays’ Fernando Rodney struck out Curtis Granderson to end the game and record his 41st save of the season.
The Oakland Athletics (76-58) remain in position for one of the two AL wild card playoff berths even though they had a nine- game winning streak broken yesterday with an 8-3 loss to the Los Angeles Angels.
The Washington Nationals, who have the best record in the majors, got their franchise-record 82nd win yesterday with a 2-1 victory over the Chicago Cubs.
To contact the reporter on this story: Erik Matuszewski in New York at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at email@example.com